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When I first received my copy of this new book and noted its title, I expected another "how-to-do-it" book on surgical management. In the preface, however, the authors state that their aim is a "comprehensive background in selected areas of surgical subjects." The 47 authors are mostly well known, and they write with authority. Thorough editing has smoothed out repetition and differences in style, and the chapters read well. Subjects are well referenced and include material published as recently as 1977.
While the chapters are self-contained essays on some aspects of surgical care, they vary considerably in approach. The strongest are those dealing with basic pathophysiology; the sections on oncology, choice of antibiotics, nutrition, and postoperative pain are especially well presented. The purely clinical sections are more spotty. The section on fluids and electrolytes, for instance, contains reference to problems specific to the MAST (military antishock trousers) suit but does
Burrington JD. Surgical Care: A Physiologic Approach to Clinical Management. JAMA. 1980;244(17):1981. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310170077044
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